The women on the balcony across from me
are scaling palm ladders to the roof,
plunking pins in tin buckets as they collect the week
from the clothesline in steady rhythm.
The sunset here is different, I’d tell you. I’m not sure how to describe it,
how it doesn’t poke over clouds, just lies quietly underneath them
like a ring you’ve lost beneath the sheets. The sky does not blush
violent orange-pink here, and the city does not chime
whiskeyed twelve and there are no fountains, and I do not
wish you could see it like I thought I would. (I thought I would.)
Here we all live together in arpeggios,
houses stacked on top of cuckoo calls and gobiwallah cries,
and I do not wonder who is listening when I sing
or if I am being selfish for wanting silence to disappear
and instead bells flutter from the Ganapati temple down the street
and land softly on the windowsill.
I climb through my window and mark them down,
the minor thirds, diminished seconds.
I tie them, forgot-me-knots in the hem of my nightgown.
These are the same, I’d tell you, the wishes,
but I would not tell you they are
also different, also truths.